Trinidad and Tobago will undergo a temporary lockdown starting Sunday night.
Prime Minister Keith Rowley made the announcement during a Post Cabinet media briefing on Thursday.
Rowley indicated that the lockdown was an urgent measure to limit the spread of COVID-19. As a result, all non-essential activities and operations will cease from midnight on Sunday until April 15.
“Cooperate with us as we seek to save lives in Trinidad and Tobago.”— Rowley
Although a comprehensive list of essential and non-essential work and services will be circulated on Friday, he confirmed specific sectors, including the health, social development sectors and public utilities, will stay running as these are essential services. The airports, seaports, Customs and Immigration, banks and supermarkets will also continue functioning.
Clarifying that the lockdown is not a state of emergency, he stressed that the police, with support from the Defence Force, will enforce the law to limit congregations.
“Be a responsible citizen. Cooperate with us as we seek to save lives in Trinidad and Tobago,” he pleaded with citizens.
Rowley noted that the serious actions taken in light of preventing COVID-19 have led to serious reactions. He stated that the “National Budget has imploded”, but the Government is aiming to find resources to manage the country.
An additional TT$157 million will be made available to the Ministry of Health to deal with COVID-19 Response at four Regional Health Authorities. Those funds, he said, will be spent on consumables, human resources, infrastructure and equipment over the coming months.